The finalized 54.5 mpg federal fuel economy standards, hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and how it may impact natural gas-powered transportation, and how consumers have been making green vehicle purchase choices were among the topics discussed by Curtis Martin, Program Coordinator for Antelope Valley Clean Cities and Jon LeSage, Automotive Editor, Green Initiatives for Automotive Digest on August 30th. Click here to listen to the “Ending Our Oil Addiction” program interview on Blogtalkradio.com.
Some of the key points discussed were:
• Manufacturers will be receiving credits for zero emissions vehicles (including EVs and fuel cell vehicles) and for natural gas vehicles, and the credits can be traded with other automakers.
• Reduced vehicle weight, improved aerodynamics, and efficiency are playing a big role in meeting the 54.5 mpg standards, but not at the expense of safety.
• The fuel economy standard is “technology neutral” –- there are no demands that specific volumes of vehicles must be sold, such as 100,000 electric vehicles per manufacturer in a given year. An automaker can sell a small volume of EVs and still meet the standards.
• States like Pennsylvania, Indiana, and New York are debating in their legislatures about scrutinizing and regulating hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region in the eastern U.S., and other parts of the country.
• Natural gas vehicles are very likely to be pulled into these debates over environmental, safety, and health issues. It’s important for people in the natural gas vehicle sector to stay informed and ready to answer questions from consumers, media, and government regulators.
• Early adopters of electric vehicles include fleets, and upper income, bi-coastal consumers. The biggest challenge EVs, hybrids, and alternative fuel vehicles face is reducing sticker prices and expanding the charging/fueling infrastructure.
To listen to other interviews on green transportation conducted weekly by Curtis Martin, click here. Some of the recent interviews include Matt Horton of Propel Fuels, Brian Wynne of Electric Drive Transportation Association, Peter Ward, former head of the California Energy Commission’s AB 118 Team, and Mike Taylor of Propane Education and Research Council. The weekly internet radio shows take place on Thursdays at 11:00 am PT and you can click here to listen.